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Deborah Wai Kapohe

Composer, Māori Composer, Performer


Te Ātihaunui - ā - Papārangi

Worldwide, few professional opera singers can claim so diverse a repertoire of talents as Deborah Wai Kapohe, M.Mus(Distinction), BA and LRSM. Recognised as New Zealand's most promising soprano (the Dominion 2002), Deborah is also highly regarded as a contemporary singer, singer/songwriter and guitarist.

Born in Southland, she has performed in operas, musicals, contemporary Maori music, arts festivals, proms, concerts, recitals, self accompanied guitar and voice recitals and special events throughout New Zealand and Australia, as well as in the United Kingdom, China and South Africa.

Her Premiere Opera performances include Outrageous Fortune by New Zealand composer Gillian Whitehead; Wide Sargasso Sea and Gauguin for Chamber Made in Australia; and Grandma's Shoes, a joint production between Opera Australia and Theatre of Image in Sydney, January 2000.

Special events involving New Zealand Music include singing for the Duke of Edinburgh World Fellows at St James Palace with a programme of music by Dorothy Buchanan and Douglas Lilburn, for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, National Anthems at Jade Stadium including pre match performances of music by Gareth Farr and performing for Royalty at Huka Lodge, Taupo, featuring a new arrangement by Dorothy Buchanan of Peace Song. She has written and performed her own song for Waitangi Day with the Southern Sinfonia in Dunedin, toured New Zealand with Arts on Tour New Zealand playing her own music and since 1998 she has released three CDs as a singer songwriter in the alternative folk genre on her label Ring Trout CDs.

Since 2004 Deborah has began to broaden her interest in contemporary music by developing her interest in the internet and studying law with an interest in the area of music and the internet. One of the results of this is that Deborah is co-creator and sponsor of the annual Pacific Songwriting Competition which has presented a total of $65,000 to songwriters, with entries received from around the globe. This competition is open to all genres and involves the use of the internet as a means of gathering songwriters together, awarding money to aid composers and songwriters writing and also exploiting the internet as an ever increasing area in which to expose audiences to original music.

Composed (50)

I Am Afraid

Alternatve Folk, 3m 37s

American Clone

Alternative Folk, 3m 45s

At the Cafe

Alternative Folk, 4m 5s

Australian Soldier

Alternative Folk, 5m 30s

Because You Defy Convention

Alternative Folk, 3m 56s

Crystal to Moonlight

Acoustic, 2m 20s

Cyrus's Gift and Forgotten easily

Alternative Folk, 12m 27s


Acoustic, 3m 32s


Alternative Folk, 3m 53s

Do You Ever Live a Day?

Acoustic, 3m 28s


Acoustic, 2m 21s

Even On a Cold Day

Alternative Folk, Acoustic, 4m 5s

Garden Flax

Alternative Folk, 4m 18s

Girl Down

Alternative folk, Country, 4m 3s

Hard to Breathe

Alternative Folk, 3m 40s

Haunt Me

Folk Pop, 2m 49s


Taonga Puoro, Folk, 4m 49s

Hine, e Hine

Te Reo Māori, Acoustic, 4m 23s

I Dream Amongst Ferns

Alternative Folk,, 2m 27s

I Wait For You

Acoustic, 3m 41s

I Was Sprung

Alternative Folk, 2m 31s

I'm Obsessed

Alternative Folk, 3m 23s

If It Was Mine to Give

Alternative Folk, 3m 21s

If There Ever Was a Time

Alternative Folk, 3m 3s

In Your Collection

Folk Pop, 4m 13s

Kia Hora te Marino

for voice and piano arr. Glenda Keam, 3m 10s


Pop, 2m 59s

Life in the Queue

Alternative Folk, 3m 24s


Alternative Folk, 2m 41s


Pop, 2m 46s


Taonga Puoro, voice, 4m 9s


Pop, 4m 3s

NZ Rain

Acoustic, 3m 32s

Piece of You

for vocals, guitar, taonga puroro, percussion and double bass, 8m 20s

Rain Down On Me

Alternative Folk, 4m 36s

Red Dust

Alternative Folk, 3m 15s

River Will Carry Me

Taonga Puoro, Pop, Jazz, 4m 50s


Pop, Jazz, 7m 15s

Sage in the Tree

Alternative Folk, 4m 30s

Sage in The Tree

for voice and piano, 4m 11s


Taonga Puoro, Alternative Folk, 4m 15s


Te Reo Māori, World Music, Latin, 1m 57s

Thin Air

Alternative Folk, 5m 23s

Too Late

Pop, Folk, 3m 24s


Alternative Folk, 4m 53s

Waiting to Catch a Poem

Acoustic, 4m 19s

Whispering Softly

Acoustic, 3m 30s

You're my Paradise

Alternative Folk, 3m 39s

Young Girl

Acoustic, 3m 27s

Commissioned (2)

Peace Song

for soprano and cello, 3m

Thin Air

5m 4s